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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 23:59 GMT 00:59 UK
'The drugs are worth the risk'
Arthritis causes swelling of the joints
Without pain relief, the symptoms of arthritis can be unbearable
A large UK study has found that painkillers used for the treatment of arthritis - COX-2 inhibitors such as arcoxia and other such as ibuprofen and diclofenac - increase the risk of heart attack.

But many patients are completely dependent on the drugs to control their pain, and feel the risk is worth taking.

Catherine Cribb tells the BBC what it's like to live with arthritis.

"I have had rheumatoid arthritis for 15 years.

"I'm currently taking arcoxia which makes life worth living."

"There's risks to everything but without these drugs there would be no point carrying on"

"Without it, I wouldn't be able to get moving in the morning.

"I have seen people taken off the drugs and put on paracetamol and they are really struggling - it doesn't even touch the pain."

'Unbearable pain'

Catherine, aged 58, lives in Formby, Merseyside, and has tried many drugs over the years to help control her condition, including ibuprofen, and believes the increased risk of heart attack is nothing compared to the quality of life she gets from the drugs.

"The best ones for me are the COX-2s but it doesn't suit everybody.

"People have to work out what's best for them.

"I don't think people realise how bad it is - sometimes I won't want to stand up because I know the pain will be unbearable.

"There's risks to everything but without these drugs there would be no point carrying on," she said.

"You have to be able to live life."

How safe are the drugs we take?
15 Jan 05 |  Health

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